Wednesday, 26 May 2021

A Touch of Magic!

I can't remember who pointed me in the right direction ( I have tried to back track to find out, to no avail) but I downloaded the Too Good to Go app and this morning found a Magic Bag on offer at the Spar supermarket not too far away.  I am excited!  There is supposed to be a bag containing £10 worth of food for the princely sum of £3.09 which I can collect after 7pm tonight.  I wonder what it will contain?  There could be fruit, veg, meat, fish etc but it's a lucky dip.  All will be past the sell by/use by date so I'll let you know in a post tomorrow what I get.  Meanwhile a big 'thank you' to whoever shared the information in the first place.

Watch this space!

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

EDIT: I have just found the information on Marlene's blog PoppyPatchwork.  Thank you Marlene.

SECOND EDIT: I had only just come off the computer when I received a text to say that my order has been cancelled because the supermarket doesn't have enough surplus food to fulfill the order. My payment via PayPal has been refunded but I am gutted......

I think I'll just shut up shall I..... ๐Ÿค

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Home Grown Produce

What an awful week its been weather wise; too much rain and not enough sun with low overnight temperatures thrown in.   A few weeks ago the apple trees were covered in lush blossom like this...

The blossom has all disappeared, hastened by the wind and rain, but I can see that apples have set so I'm still hoping for a decent crop of fruit.
We still have plenty of rhubarb and are eating crumbles and stewed fruit on a regular basis.....

Yesterday I popped to the allotment between showers to thin the lettuces out.  The tiny ones weeded out were shared with my brother and mine were eaten for lunch.  They were crisp, uber fresh and utterly delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ 

As I'm on a mission to save a little money out of the food budget, I wasn't best pleased to come downstairs  this morning after G had gone to work to find this....๐Ÿคจ


Why on earth make a mug of tea with milk and sugar if you don't actually drink it?  I would have drunk it myself had it not been lukewarm.  Good grief....

Anyway that's all for now. Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Rain, Rain And More Rain


The last 10 days have been pretty boring (apart from the parties next door) with lots and lots of rain interspersed with weak sunshine.  It has done the garden and allotment a power of good and everything has put on enormous growth spurts.  From the allotment, we have been picking lots of rhubarb for crumbles, distributing a share to our daughter, my brother, and a lovely neighbour and our first radishes have been pulled and eaten.  They were delicious 'Breakfast Radishes'; not too hot but very crunchy and tasty so we have sowed more seed in the raised bed.   Although we had grease banded the apple trees earlier on I decided to try a tip from someone and apply a thick ring of vaseline below the grease band to try to deter the earwigs which spoiled a lot of the Bramley cooking apples last year.  I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try.  I dare say I will have to replenish it every couple of weeks but I have a BIG jar of the stuff ๐Ÿ˜€

The 'first early' potatoes have been earthed up 3 times so are doing really well and the 'second earlies' are showing the first bit of growth.

The photo above shows the tiny Canada Goose goslings which we came across when we went for a walk in the park last week.  They were drinking from and paddling in a dirty puddle watched over by some adult geese.  We counted 12 and they were so sweet ๐Ÿ˜Š

Next week is going to be just as unexciting, I think, because more rain is forecast for the whole week and we have our Pneumonia jabs to look forward to on Monday ๐Ÿ‘€  I feel a bit like a pin cushion.  That will be my 5th jab in just a few months.  Ah well, needs must.......

I'm off to the shower now and will have to try to decide what we are having for tea tonight.  There's not much in the fridge/freezer right now .......

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Thanks So Much

 Thank you all for your helpful and supportive comments on my last post.  You have helped me to come to a decision.  I plucked up the courage to ring the police and the officer was so calming and helpful and I've filed a complaint.  He did tell me that they attended that address at some point last week so someone else has reported her too and they would have attended on Sunday after my online Covid rule- breaking report on Sunday/Monday but had another issue to deal with and couldn't respond.   I also managed to speak to the lady who lives directly opposite the problem house and she has seen even more than me, having a birds eye view, as it were. She says that she commented to her husband that she didn't know how we put up with it.  She is happy to support my complaint if I contact the council and apparently the police attended the house sometime in March too, which I didn't know about.  Young Neighbour is skating on thin ice, I think.

This will be the last downbeat post, I promise.  

My next post will be brighter (if I can prop my eyelids open long enough to type one!) ๐Ÿ‘€

Stay safe everyone, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Monday, 3 May 2021

Neighbour From Hell Bullies Again

 Please excuse any poor grammar, punctuation or spelling today.  I am knackered ๐Ÿ˜ด 

A week ago young neighbour had yet another party ,totally ignoring rules and keeping us awake until the early hours yet again.  The next day I tried to speak to her but she ignored my knocks on the door so I wrote a polite note asking her to please be aware of noise levels when she next had visitors because G had to be up at 7am for work.  She ignored it.

Yesterday afternoon visitors began to arrive in taxis and cars at 4.30pm. Great...I we go. At 5.30pm a minibus pulled up and 6 girls piled out of the house and into the vehicle.  Yippee! They were going out! By 10.30pm they were back; roaring drunk and LOUD.  Immediately the pounding dance music was turned on and there were screams, shouting and bang after bang of the doors.  We waited patiently until midnight before trying to sleep through it but couldn't.  When I could stand it no longer, I filled in the online form on my phone to report Covid rule breaking.  Yet another car pulled up at 1.30am but no response from the police.  I finally got to sleep at 5am, woke again at 6.30am, gave in and got up.  At 7.30am whilst making a mug of tea to help down the paracetamol to relieve my headache, a taxi pulled up to collect 3 girls who fell out of the house whooping and taking selfies on their phones.  Its obvious that at least 8 were at the party and 6 slept overnight.  I despair....she is a bully and cares for no one but herself.  Her baby daughter spends more time out of the house than in it too.

The gloves are off.  I intend to keep reporting her now until something is done.  Her behaviour is anti social and affecting our health at this point.

What worries me now too is how she is treating her baby daughter. Is she safe?

Sorry for such a downbeat post but I needed to get it off my chest.

Stay safe everyone x

Friday, 23 April 2021

That's More Like Me ๐Ÿ˜Š

From this..... 


To this..... 

Now that's more like me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Yes, yesterday afternoon I got my hair cut at last. Our daughter's friend is a hairdresser who works from home and although she is rushed off her feet at the moment, she fitted me in. I feel like a new woman ๐Ÿ˜ She only asked for £14 but I gave her £20 because that's what I had been paying the hairdresser in the village and I was so grateful to have it cut. She's a lovely person too ๐Ÿค— There was only one customer at a time and she sanitised everything before I sat down. She's also doing a Covid test on herself every other day so I felt very safe. I've booked again for 7 weeks time. 

A big thank you to everyone for your comments and good wishes on my last post.  I'm still in pain but the warm weather is helping a little and your good wishes warm my heart ❤️ I have a new follower too. I can't tell who you are but welcome to my ramblings ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Second Jab Day

 Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, and saw us queuing in the sunshine to get our second Pfizer vaccination. 20 minutes later we were back in the car and tootling off to the local park to meet our daughter for a good walk and a coffee. I'm still struggling with hip and back pain so the walk was shorter and less vigorous than I would have liked but the sun and fresh air were so good. DD has now more or less recovered from the reaction to her first jab, apart from sudden bouts of tiredness and a bit of a sore arm still. During the night I found that rolling onto my left arm was painful and woke me up. This morning I have a bit of redness and a lump where the needle went in but nothing really to complain about.

 I've had my first foray into a couple of charity shops! The shelves were unusually empty but I did find a book for £1

I read two of her other books set in Greece ages ago so I'm hoping this one will be good too. 

Today is much cooler and a bit wet. Both the garden and the allotment will benefit from the rain as its been a really dry month so far. The food shopping is being delivered this afternoon so it will be a day of pottering, I think.

Enjoy your day too, and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Testing, Testing!

Now that we are edging towards a little normality at last, I thought it sensible to take up the offer of the free government lateral flow test kits for Covid-19.  We intend to see as much of DD and the grandchildren as we are allowed and are desperate to keep them safe.  I ordered the kits online and they arrived in the post within 24 hours.  To be fair, the first one was a bit of a faff but the second one (done this morning) was a bit easier now that I know what I'm supposed to be doing.  The instruction booklet is quite clear and easy to understand.......

Thankfully,  one line indicates it's a negative result so we are going over to see them this afternoon to enjoy a barbecue in the garden ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Have you tried one of these tests yet?  How did you manage?

On Friday our daughter, who is 46, received her Covid jab.  The same night she developed a headache, aches and pains, chills, fever and nausea which made absolutely sure that she had very little sleep at all ๐Ÿ˜จ  Yesterday saw her feeling very under the weather but I've spoken to her this morning and she is starting to feel better.  She cat napped on Saturday afternoon and slept better last night.  Her headache has virtually gone too.  She was given the Astra Zeneca vaccine and I think she has been unlucky to feel so rotten but, apparently, younger people feel the effects more.  It's something to do with a better immune system response.  I really hope she continues to feel better as today progresses.  Son-in Law is cooking on the barbie and we are having salad with it so she can sit back and relax.  I'm taking some cup cakes for afters too.  Fingers crossed that the sun stays out! 

My current book from the library is this one...

I think someone on here reviewed it (possibly Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life?) and I'm finding it very interesting.  I do, however, find it a bit hard to understand how a Vegan can suddenly decide to kill and eat animals and fish; one one occasion eat raw fish ๐Ÿ‘€ I suppose hunger makes you do things you wouldn't normally dream of doing.  The use of technology is absolutely everywhere in our daily lives and I know I would struggle to do without much of it.  I could probably manage without the internet at a push but without a mobile phone to contact DD? without gas or electricity for heat and cooking? without mains water? A composting toilet doesn't appeal either!

What would you be most hard pressed to do without?

Anyway, that's all for now folks.  Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Hip Pain Corner & Making The Best of It

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  It seems that so many people are suffering back and hip pain at the moment, in fact suffering pain per se.  I think Rambler hit the nail right on the head by saying that the year of inactivity has weakened our muscles to the point of causing us physical problems.  My heart goes out to all of you who are in pain and distress.  You are not alone. Take heart. Sending healing hugs to you all.

My GP rang me yesterday within 30 minutes of the allotted time.  It was so weird trying to explain over the telephone exactly where my pain is ๐Ÿค” I explained that I have had it for more than 6 weeks and am unsure what triggered it or how to ease it.  She said that it's probably not arthritis if it came on quickly but is more likely to be tendon damage.  She didn't want to authorise an x-ray unless I've had a fall ( I havent) so the conclusion was to carry on with the Ibuprofen and Paracetamol combined and "see how it goes", in other words "just get on with life and put up with it " ๐Ÿ™„  Time will tell....

On Sunday I suddenly remembered that I needed fuel in the car.  The gauge has been on red for some time so I drove to the petrol station, topped up and paid the princely sum of £2.99 for a basic car wash too.  There was no way I could wash it myself right now so it felt like money well spent.  Afterwards, I popped in the supermarket for some cake and spotted these at bargain prices.  No standing baking.... Job done! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We couldn't make up our minds what to do today. It was quite mild and sunny so on the spur of the moment popped to our local hostelry for a drink.  G enjoyed his first lockdown-easing pint....

I might be on painkillers but thought 'to heck with it' and enjoyed a cheeky glass of rose anyway.

I'm booked in for a haircut on Thursday next week.  Not before time you might say ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Anyway, thanks for popping in and stay safe and well wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Reason I've been AWOL

I know it's been a while since I posted properly but I have been 'in the wars' again ๐Ÿ˜ 

For several weeks now, I have been developing pain in my hip and lower back which I'm sure, in part, is due to being so inactive over the last year.  I have been struggling to walk far or to get up from a sitting position, and the pain has been excruciating.  I rang the GP's surgery for advice and was given a telephone appointment with a GP for Monday 12th April.  I actually made the enquiry on 30th March so the appointment was almost 2 weeks away.  In desperation, I steeled myself to visit the pharmacy in the local supermarket and was given the advice to take Ibuprofen and Paracetamol in combination.  Now, I didn't think you were supposed to do that, especially with my IBS problem (now under control, thankfully) but desperate times call for desperate measures so they say.  The pain is a little easier but it certainly hasn't gone.  I have no idea whether or not the GP can help tomorrow.  Time will tell....

What strange weather we are having again.  On Good Friday our daughter and her family came to visit us in the garden.  At first it was cold and windy so we all wrapped up in warm coats and scarves and sat (well spaced) in the garden.  It gave me such a lovely warm feeling to see and speak to them all and have a 'proper' conversation between the 6 of us instead of a 'bitty' one via video link.  By 1pm it had warmed up somewhat so DD drove to the local chippie and bought us fish and chips as well as pies for the boys which she shared out onto plates for us all.  It was the best day G and I have had since Christmas Day.  The family went home around 3pm and it was at that point that the sun broke through (typical!) so G and I stayed in the garden, sitting in the sun wearing short sleeves and drinking mugs of tea...bliss.

This morning I woke at 8am and found it was snowing.  Strange weather....

The allotment is beginning to show signs of  glorious growth.  We have picked the first of the forced rhubarb and G has sown:

Peas, broad beans, radishes, lettuce and planted some potatoes. The raspberry canes, blackberry bush and grape vine are all putting on spurts of greenery as well as the two apple trees.  I love to see signs of new growth, hope for the future.

We were so sorry to hear of the death of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,  but he has had a good life and done wonderful things for our young folk with his Award scheme.  I respected him for his plain speaking too. Rest in Peace.

What I thought was wrong was the BBC removing all their usual programmes from around 4.30pm onwards on 3 channels in order to give coverage to the Royal story.  If people were not depressed at the outset, they certainly would be at the end of watching the story all evening. Gardener's World is our favourite prog on a Friday and was sorely missed.  It was shown last night instead and we only just realised in time to watch it ๐Ÿ˜ก 

My hip is hurting now after sitting to write this so I'll sign off.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy Easter.


Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back very soon. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

On Penguins, Hospital Mix=ups and Empty Fridges

I had another hospital appointment come through for Monday.  I received two identical letters on Saturday as well as a text message.  I tried to phone through to clarify whether it was for my skin cancer removal or for something else, to no avail.  The lines were constantly busy and I had to give up.  I turned up for my 10.20am appointment with some trepidation, was called through early only to discover that the consultant was no wiser than I was regarding why I had been sent for.  He thought I had requested to see him regarding a problem with a procedure undertaken 5 weeks previously!  We both sighed in exasperation and I was back home by 10.30am ๐Ÿ˜ท What a waste of money....

G and I decided to take the opportunity to have a walk at Himley Park.  I'm so glad we did.  Someone has left an artwork of a penguin painted on clingfilm wrapped around two tree trunks by the waterfall.  Isn't he beautiful!  The artist is on Instagram it seems but don't use it ......Thank you @Mr_SGE ....

The snowdrops at Himley Hall have now all been replaced by daffodils. they are everywhere and look absolutely gorgeous.  The air was cold but invigorating so we bought coffees to drink in the car after our walk and felt so much better afterwards...... 

Today G has gone to the allotment to put in some potatoes and I've collected my 'click and collect' book from the library.  It's called The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and I'm really looking forward to reading it.  I must, however, first finish reading my kindle book: Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope.  I'm not good at reading 2 books at the same time, I'll get the characters mixed up!

The home delivery of shopping is coming this afternoon and not before time, I think.... ๐Ÿ˜‚

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 13 March 2021

What Is Going On? And The Dentist...

 Is anyone else having trouble commenting on blogs here?  I've left several comments over the last few days which have bounced back as 'undeliverable message' .... what?  Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life, I'm not ignoring your lovely blog posts, I am being stopped from commenting!   I don't know what has changed but it's very frustrating....

Anyway, thank you all for your comments and suggestions regarding what to add to the list of experiences and life skills for kids.  There are some absolutely fab additions ๐Ÿ˜€

This week has been a funny old week.  The weather has thrown everything at us, including hail on Thursday, as well as very high winds which saw us laying everything flat in the garden and tying down lids and things.  Touch wood, everything survived (so far!)

Wednesday saw me at the dental surgery getting my broken tooth sorted.  What a palaver.  I was incredibly nervous of  going in and wasn't helped by a woman who came in after me, refused to wash her hands or wear a mask and then sat in the waiting area with me and another woman calmly licking her fingers and dusting imaginary marks off her trousers with her damp fingers.  I despair of the total lack of respect for the staff and other people.  Anyway, I had to pay £65.20 even before the dentist had seen me ๐Ÿ‘€ but this was because, apparently, you go out of the building a different way to the one you come in by (and don't pass GO or collect £200 ๐Ÿ˜…)  Luckily he was my usual dentist.  He said my tooth could be repaired and gave me a numbing injection.  While that was working he did a scale and full examination, then built up my tooth to a functional (if not cosmetically pretty) size, then gave my teeth a polish.  They look much better.  He did say that if the repair doesn't hold there is enough tooth left to fit a crown onto. The cost would be over £282 so I'm hoping it won't come to that.

I feel a bit blurgh and tearful this morning.  I didn't sleep soundly and G tootled off to work at 7am so I was wide awake by then after the breakfast noises, but I think it's partly because tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and I can't see my family.  Lovely DD dropped a package off at the door yesterday containing some beautiful tulips, a mini bottle of Prosecco and some chocolates as well as 2 cards, so I mustn't let it get to me.  It won't be too long before we can all meet up in the garden again.  AND the sun is now trying to break through.  I'm going to make porridge then have my shower.  That should get me going.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

PS Please remember that I'm not ghosting you....Blogger is blocking my comments!

Monday, 8 March 2021

What Kids Need To Know


With the start of lockdown-easing today, children are going back to school at last.  It has been a whole year since the Grandchildren picked up their folders, collected their bags and went home for the duration.  It got me thinking about what kids need to know, what to learn on a daily basis and what to do while they are young and carefree.  I came up with the following:

  • Play outside and get dirty
  • Play a sport
  • Learn to swim
  • Ride a bike or scooter
  • Learn to  roller skate
  • Go to a pantomime
  • Visit the cinema
  • See a play at the theatre
  • Craft something eg paint, cut, stick, colouring books
  • Feed the ducks
  • Learn to recognise the birds visiting the garden
  • Visit the seaside
  • Visit the countryside

Life Skills

  • Handling money, budgeting and saving
  • Ironing simple things
  • Washing up
  • Simple cooking eg beans on toast, a boiled egg, a baked potato
  • Make a cake and lick the bowl!
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Make a sandwich
The list is endless.  All of the above were achieved by our Grandchildren (now 13 and 16 yrs old) either by being taught by their mum or by me.  I took our Granddaughter to the theatre when she was 3 yrs old and she was so enthralled by musical theatre that she learned to dance, has become a Champion Dancer and holds maybe a hundred trophies.  Our Grandson is a brilliant footballer too, often gaining the 'Man of the Match' trophy.  Everything has, obviously, been curtailed during the pandemic but they are looking forward to returning to normality as soon as possible.

What would you add to the list?  What did you teach your own kids or what did your mum teach you that has turned out to be invaluable in life?

Thanks so much for popping in and stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 4 March 2021

I Dreaded This Very Thing...

 My regular dental checkup in September last year was cancelled due to Covid-19 and I have absolutely dreaded either of us having a problem with our teeth during lockdown .  Well, yesterday the worst happened and a tooth broke in half whilst eating my lunchtime sarnie.  I promptly rang the surgery to request an emergency appointment and they can fit me in next TUESDAY afternoon, so I will have to suffer for almost a week before I can be seen, let alone have the tooth treated.  I really hope they can save the tooth because, after G's horrendous experience of an extraction (and a dry socket) a couple of years ago, I am petrified of having it removed under local anaesthetic ๐Ÿ‘€  It will be costly but I would rather my regular dentist try to save it.  Fingers crossed that he can.... Meanwhile it's soft food only and try to chew on the other side ๐Ÿ˜

It's such a struggle to get anything treated right now, isn't it.  Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Thanks for popping in and stay safe, my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

A Plan Thwarted & a Chuckle

 After all my efforts over the last week or so to reduce our electricity consumption, I came downstairs this morning to find that G, who came to bed after me, had left the sitting room light on ALL NIGHT ๐Ÿ˜’ Well, that's wiped out any savings right away...grrr....

In the post this morning were 2 energy statements from British Gas: one gas, one electricity.  Fair enough you might say, but we also received one last Friday for electricity following my submitting a reading, as requested.  Today's bill is estimated for 3 days useage.  Why? Especially as we have been getting paperless billing over the last 12 months.  The cost of admin must be rocketing and will be passed on to the consumer I'm sure.  I despair.....

I couldn't resist chuckling at this sign which my nephew posted on social media though, it says it all ๐Ÿ˜‚

I was, however, quite disappointed to find that Ernie hasn't drawn any of my premium bond numbers again this month.

I live in hope! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The sun is just beginning to emerge so I'm off to open some windows and tackle the ironing.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 25 February 2021

On Screws & Charity Bags

Yesterday started off quite wet and windy, but by afternoon things had improved enough for G to get into the garden.  He's bought a self assembly cold frame/greenhouse type kit and I was glad to usher him outside to construct it and to leave me in peace ๐Ÿ˜Š  After a while, I was observing his efforts through the window and saw a small plastic packet fall from the patio table to the ground so I shouted "is there anything important in that packet? It just blew off the table".  "Yes" G replied "the screws".  At that point another gust of wind skittered the packet across the lawn to the end of the garden and by the time he had sauntered over and picked it up, guess how many screws were left?  That's correct...NONE! It took me almost half an hour to locate about half of the dozen or so missing screws.  G couldn't find a single one. Men!   Why were they not in his pocket? ๐Ÿ˜ We'll be finding them on the lawn for months....

Anyway, Spring is almost here.  My tete-a-tete daffodils are showing their pretty little heads.  The pot is far too big to show them off properly but it was the only one we had available at the time....

Today the weather is gorgeous.  I put G's tatty old gardening jacket into the machine first thing this morning and then pegged it out in the sunshine.  It's virtually dry.  I'll do mine tomorrow if it's sunny again.

Since we moved, over a year ago, the delivery of charity bags through the letterbox has been non-existent for obvious reasons.  Neither have the charity shops been open and so I have been popping odd unwanted items into a carrier bag in the wardrobe.  Today we received this.....

I have until Sunday evening to have a bit of a sort out and get rid of some unwanted items to a good cause so that's my task for the next few days.  I would imagine that charities have lost an awful lot of revenue due to Covid and they will be gearing up to reopen at some point soon.  Do you get these collection bags in your area?

Thank you everyone for your comments on my haircut post.  They brought a smile and sometimes an outright chuckle too.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

The Cost of No Haircuts !

I usually get my hair cut every 7 weeks at a local hair salon, costing £19 for a shampoo, cut and finish.  The very last time I was able to go the cost had been increased to £21, presumably to make up for revenue lost during lockdown and subsequent social distancing measures.  Anyway, by now I would have just had my second trim of the year.  I have saved £42 plus tips but IT SHOWS!!

This is me today......

And this is how I like to look!  Spot the difference......

I can't wait to get it trimmed but dare not tackle it myself.  Perhaps I should ask  my daughter to get the clippers on it once we can meet up in the garden.  After all, she's been trimming her son's and hubby's hair all through lockdown ๐Ÿ˜ท

Have you trimmed your own  hair? How did it turn out?

Thanks so much for popping in and commenting.   Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Finances & Bargain Renewal

 Gosh, we're almost at the end of yet another month and time to check the finances.

My car insurance is due in the middle of next month so I listened to Martin Lewis ๐Ÿ˜€ and searched via a price comparison website for a new policy.  Last year I paid £229.98 and although the renewal came in lower at £203.56 the comparison site came back with a quote of £160.16 including protected no claims discount (which I didn't have before) so it was, as they say a "no-brainer" to go with the new, well known, company.  They sent out the documents within a couple of days too which is impressive.  The last company was online only so a bit trickier to get the documents. Anyway, I'm very happy with the price and I can travel 3000 miles in the coming year! That's a laugh isn't it ๐Ÿ˜‚  I wish....

I've checked the gas & electricity accounts and we are on track with our monthly DD payments of £36 for electricity and £15.66 for Gas but I want to ensure we don't waste any electricity as that account is close to the wire, as it were, with a predicted mere 20p credit balance at the end of the plan.  I fixed the new tariff for 2 years (again thanks to Martin Lewis) so we know roughly what we will have to pay in coming months but we need to be aware of wasting electricity so .....

1) Ceiling lights off and table lamp on in the evening

2) The Humax box will be turned off until needed rather than left on standby

3) Mobile phones and tablets to be unplugged as soon as charged (and not left on all night G!!) 

4) Don't overfill the kettle for 2 mugs of tea G ! And don't switch it on at all if you don't intend to drink said mug of tea ๐Ÿ˜’

Do you have any tips for saving on electricity please?

The Council Tax bills will be dropping onto the mat soon. According to the internet the rates are increasing to a higher level than last year but I'm not too worried about it as I've allowed an uplift of 5% in the budget for 2021.


There was no party again next door this weekend...hooray!....๐Ÿ˜€  It was absolute bliss so I think she had gone out again.  Long may it continue....

The biggie yesterday was Boris's announcement of the 'road map' out of lockdown with schools to reopen on 8th March  ( I can hear all the mums cheering!) and I will actually be able to meet our Daughter in an outside space for coffee together from the same date.  I can't wait....๐Ÿ˜‚

Unfortunately there will be no haircut until at least 15th April and it depends on Covid numbers falling at the expected rate.  It's all down to behaviour folks ๐Ÿ‘€ My hair needs a tidy up!

Thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Nectar Bonus & Fancy Food

 Well I said I wouldn't bore you with details of my shopping but I'm excited!  I found that I had accumulated over £40 worth of Nectar points with my online deliveries and have now worked out how to spend them on my next food order.  The result is that I have received £77.14 worth of shopping and only paid £35.89 which helps the food budget enormously.  I even let G have 2 bottles of beer and some chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‚ so he's a happy bunny!  Really pleased about that.... 

More good news is that there was NO PARTY this weekend ๐Ÿ‘  Someone arrived around 7pm on Friday evening to pick Young Neighbour up and off they went until I was woken by the door slamming at 3.35am.  She obviously went to bother someone else instead of us.......

When we had the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago, Young Neighbour made a lovely little snowman on the front lawn together with her baby daughter and used sprouts for eyes and buttons, and a carrot nose.  A few days later the snowman melted and the veg has been lying on the lawn rotting away nicely ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜’ As the rubbish was being collected yesterday,  I picked them up (they really were rotting) and put them in the bin for collection.  I would rather she moaned at me than attract rats.

Would you have picked them up?

Thank you everyone, once again, for your comments on my last post.  I do appreciate it.

This morning we fancied an M & S meal deal as we haven't had one for months and seem to be eating the same meals in the same pattern each week ๐Ÿ‘€  I drove and G went in on his own to do a recce, then I went in and did the shopping. It was a bit too busy for comfort so I hurried up (no browsing) We now have butternut squash en croute, dauphinoise potatoes and an apple crumble for pudding.  I picked up a nice bottle of French Merlot too which was on offer for £5 instead of £7 and as I had a £2 voucher it actually cost just £3.  I'm looking forward to an easy cook meal tonight!

I don't know about you but I seem to ache all over lately and this morning I reached for the squeegee to clean the shower screen after my shower and pulled a muscle in my back.  Ouch!  I think I have been so inactive for so long that it's telling on me so, when we returned from M & S, we went for a walk around the estate. Boy, the homes are shooting up!  The site looks as though it will be complete by the end of this year, failing any more catastrophies.  I'm glad we bought when we did though because the homes at the rear of the estate are right next to some big industrial units and there are lots of cul-de-sacs which will be used by the kids to play ball games in, I'm sure.

The weather is quite mild today so G is now in the garden sorting out the freshly delivered strawberry plants and pruning the rose tubs.  AND the windows are OPEN!

What's the weather like where you are?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Friday, 12 February 2021

A Touch of Nostalgia

 My nephew will soon be 40 years old and I have bought him a special card (he doesn't read my blog!)  which lists all the special things that happened during the year he was born :1981  By golly what a nostalgia trip!

It was the year the first London Marathon was held, the very first episode of Only Fools And Horses was broadcast and a colour TV licence went up from £34 to £46 will cost £159 this year ๐Ÿ‘€  In addition severe snow storms hit the UK with the lowest temperature ever recorded in December since 1874 and the heaviest snow since 1878.  And there was no such thing as Global Warming then ⛄⛄⛄⛄  If you click on the photo above you might be able to expand it to read.  It's quite fascinating....

Changing the subject entirely,  a big thank you to all who left comments on my last post.  I'm always grateful to have the sensible opinions of others and, in this case, the overwhelming feeling is that I should report my Covidiot of a neighbour if she has yet another party.  The good news is that I feel a good deal better than I did in the early part of the week but the bad news is that Neighbour's Grandmother has collected the child this morning so the question remains:

Will there be a party tonight and/or tomorrow?๐Ÿ˜

I have checked and found that she can be reported online ( they don't want telephone reports in this area) at the time the party is in full swing.  If we are kept awake again this weekend The Gloves Are Off!  My patience is running out......

It's freezing again outside today although the garden does look delightful in the sunshine.  G has wrapped up like an arctic explorer and gone out for his walk to try to ease the pain in his neck (he's still awaiting an MRI scan on his head, neck and spine) but I can't face going out.  I think I'll tackle the ironing instead.  Things must be bad ๐Ÿ˜‚

Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

What Would You Do?

It snowed again during the night!  I awoke at 6.05am, looked  through the window and quickley snuggled back under the duvet ☺  Snow is now still falling in big, fat, soft white flakes so I don't think I will even attempt a walk today.  I can't risk falling.

Yesterday, I underwent a long awaited hospital procedure.   Luckily, I received the letter on Saturday afternoon otherwise I wouldn't have known and would have missed the appointment.  I say "luckily" because it only gave me a short time to worry about it ๐Ÿ˜ฌ In addition, we were both kept awake both on Friday  and Saturday night by our young neighbour having loads of visitors and partying until the early hours.  She has broken the covid rules all along and it has got worse since her boyfriend left during the summer.  She has a young daughter, not quite 2 yrs old, and I can only assume that her grandmother (the child's great grandmother ) has her for the weekends.  There would be no way that a child could sleep amid all the noise.  We hear the front and rear doors constantly banging, cars doors slamming, loud voices talking, squealing and laughter outside which carries on until 4am.  G and I were both exhausted on Sunday morning after 2 nights lack of sleep.  Its no use speaking to her about it as we discovered in the summer. As soon as her boyfriend left the noise increased. At one point on Saturday/Sunday there were 3 vehicles parked up outside, not including her Nan, who is in her childcare "bubble" ๐Ÿ˜ก 

She just increases the hurt the rest of us feel in not seeing our families too.  All the other neighbours toe the line.

I'm in pain from my procedure right now ๐Ÿ˜ซ  so if the same  happens again this weekend my patience might just snap and I'll report her.  No wonder the infection rates are so high in the area. I've put up with this ever since first lockdown in March.

I don't want to be mean but would you report her?

PS I'm still waiting for my skin cancer to be treated ...

And I want to thank everyone for the comments on my last post.  I hope all your vaccinations went well.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Friday, 5 February 2021

We Have Been Jabbed!


photo from Google

On Wednesday morning G and I had our Covid-19 vaccine which turned out to be a totally well organized and fuss free procedure.  We were directed straight in by a lovely smiling (despite her mask!) lady and given the Pfizer vaccine, once more asking our consent to give it.  Then 15 minutes sitting on a chair in a well ventilated and well spaced area just to check there were no immediate ill effects and then off home.  I can honestly say, hand on heart, that it was virtually painless and we have had no side effects whatsoever other than an expected bit of tenderness in the muscle of the upper arm where the needle went in.  This lasted from Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon then disappeared. Our booster will be given in approximately 12 weeks and we were given a small card with the details of the batch number etc of the vaccine we had been given. 

Changing the subject entirely....thank you to all the people who commented on my last 2 posts.  I do read all comments but just haven't got around to responding.  I appreciate each and every comment ๐Ÿ˜€

As we're into a new month, I did a roundup of the food shopping bill for January. Thankfully, I managed to pull back the spending so that the total for the month is well within budget....

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35    £93.27   £142.65   £192.58 total 

I don't want to bore you rigid with a blow by blow account of my food spending so I'll leave it at that unless there is something monumental (like massive savings) to report!  I'm still going to reign it all in whilst keeping a decent store cupboard in case of shortages in the long term.

Have you noticed shortages in the supermarket?  My online shop had no decent muesli (the basic one sent was merely dust ๐Ÿ˜) and the tinned rice was substituted with a low fat version.  Both items were sent back for a refund and I've been given a substitution voucher for £1.25 which I can take off the cost of my next delivery on Wednesday 10th. Oh and there were no Birds Eye Peas!   Having said that, I'm incredibly grateful for online deliveries still.  I really can't imagine a time when I will be comfortable pushing a trolley around the supermarket ever again.   Ilona from Life Without Money visits Aldi at 8.30pm to do her shopping.  I might try the same at some point....

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now as I'm off to make hot dogs with fried onions for lunch ๐Ÿ˜œ

Nut roast and lots of veggies with gravy for tea too ๐Ÿ˜

Stay safe, my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Monday, 1 February 2021

The Pop of Spring and A Call to Arms

As I  haven't left the house since Thursday last we drove the short distance to our nearest park for a good walk this morning.  Now that the Covid testing station has been removed I feel much more comfortable with going there.  There were hardly any people at all  just a few intrepid dog walkers wrapped up to the nines against the cold.  Donning our hats, scarves and gloves we set off at a brisk pace up through the woodland walk. was muddy.  There was evidence of bicycles having churned it all up at some point.  How we long for a good walk which doesn't involve mud! Beneath the trees were hundreds of tiny snowdrops.  They are so beautiful.....

The park usually has at least a dozen wooden benches where we can sit and rest but, do you know, they have removed every single one except for this one which is cemented into the ground.  A step too far do you think? I do....

Along the muddy path we met a little Robin.  He came right up to my feet to feed on the insects lurking in the mud.  Isn't  he lovely ๐Ÿ˜€

The 'Call to Arms' in the title refers to a phone call I received early this morning asking if we would like the Covid vaccine.  Note I said 'asking' not informing us .  There is  a choice. We both said "yes please" and we will have them at our local community centre on Wednesday.  If it helps others then we feel its the least we can do.  My sister, brother in law and sister in law have already had theirs (last week as they are older than us) and they are not suffering any ill effects.  I'll let you know how we get on  ๐Ÿ˜ท

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

A Simple Decision Required!

 Are men  capable of answering  a simple yes/no question or of making a simple decision?

I ask myself this question on a fairly regular basis.  Conversation in our house often follows this pattern:

Me:  What time would you like to eat lunch today?

G:  What time do want it?


Me:  Would you like fish, curry, or cottage pie for tea?

G: I don't mind. Whatever you want...


Me: Do you fancy a walk?

G: If you want to.....

Do you catch my drift? It drives me mad ๐Ÿ˜  When I'm doing the online shop I'll ask if there's anything in particular he would like me to order. The answer is usually " I can't think of anything" so the decision, once again is all down to me yet there is always something he thinks of once its too late to add it on.  I don't know why I bother asking!

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

On a different subject, the snow has melted at last apart from the various snowmen dotted around in front gardens, and the sun is shining.  I've banished G to the shed to clean and sharpen his tools while I oven bake jacket potatoes and prepare salad.  I asked him if he wanted some grated cheese as well as prawns on his potato and the answer?

" If you like...although it doesn't matter....just a light sprinkling..." Aarrgh ๐Ÿ™„

Stay safe, my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Winter Wonderland

 This was the view from my bedroom window when I awoke at 9am this morning... lazy, I know, but we have nowhere to go and it is Sunday, after all  ๐Ÿ˜Š  The security camera shows that it began to snow around 8.30am and so it came very thick and fast if this is how it was by 9am.  It's now 3pm and still snowing on and off in flurries.  I reckon we've had around 3" of snow if the thickness of snow on the patio table is anything to go by.  I'll enjoy it today and hope it disappears overnight.  I'm glad we managed a bit of a walk yesterday because it will be treacherous underfoot at the moment.

I had a text from our son in Oz this morning where it's been 40C.  How do they cope?

We've had a quiet morning just catching up with a few chores and then I cooked us a lunch of roast potatoes and lots of veg with veg sausage for me and a portion of beef stew from the freezer for G.  I found 2 out of date mince pies at the back of the cupboard ๐Ÿ˜ so they've been heated up in the switched off  (but still hot) oven and served with some tinned custard.  We are now FULL!

I'm off for a good read now with a cup of tea to hand...OOh...I can hear G putting the kettle on!

What are you doing today?
Stay safe my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Raining Cats & Dogs...Again... And Shopping

Photo from Google

 The weather today is appalling.  It's pouring with rain and quite windy, although the temperature has moved up a little to 10 degrees.  For once we are happy that we can't actually go anywhere and can stay in a warm, dry house focusing on simple tasks like writing up the account book and pottering.  Sometimes just pottering can be quite therapeutic, can't it.  What are you doing today?

The weekly shopping is due to arrive this afternoon.  I book a 4 hour slot which costs £1 and Sainsburys texts me with a 1 hour slot on the actual day of delivery.  I have been allocated the weird time of 16.52 to 17.52pm today ๐Ÿ˜ but it's not guaranteed.  The delivery chappie was almost half an hour late last week but, in the scheme of things right now, it matters not a jot.   It just means that I will cook our main meal at lunchtime instead of evening so that we will be free to accept, wipe down and pack away the delivery when it arrives.  The cost this week is £49.38   There is a bar of chocolate and 2 bottles of beer on order for G which he has decided he will pay for himself instead of taking it out of the grocery budget, so the total above doesn't include them. This means that we are back on track regarding the allocated food spend, thank goodness.

Mind you, I've just checked the fridge and I think it will be baked beans and oven chips for lunch ๐Ÿ‘€ 

Never mind, we both like carbs on a day like today ๐Ÿ˜€  I'll do a proper food plan once I know we have all that we ordered.  Unusually, there seems to be just one substitution this week:  I ordered a multipack of 6 own brand plain crisps to go with our sandwiches.  As they are out of stock they are sending me.....a multipack of 12 own brand plain crisps for the same price.  I think I can live with that ๐Ÿ‘

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35    £93.27   £142.65

Friday, 15 January 2021

Trying to Get Motivated


The allotment In January 2021

I took delivery of my weekly shopping yesterday afternoon.  A couple of items were substituted.  They had no 4 pint cartons of milk and no sweetheart cabbage (again) although they did send 2 x 2 pints of milk and a small savoy cabbage so all is not lost.  G usually gets a treat of 2 bottles of beer, but they were out of stock too so he will have to go without.  The shopping came to £46.92 and I've ordered more meat for G this time; a pack of lean diced beef for the slow cooker, which will make him 3 meals; a pack of 8 sausages for hot dogs and to serve with veg and gravy; and a pack of bacon for weekend breakfasts.  The thing I forgot to order is CAKE ๐Ÿ˜’ so I will have to have a baking day at some point or G will get withdrawal symptoms!

I'm trying to factor some form of moving into my day right now.  With the weather being so cold and, frankly, dark and dismal every day, it's so hard to get motivated.  We are told to stay at home but it's driving us mad.  On Tuesday we took a long walk to the local Crematorium where lots of family members are buried, ashes interred or scattered and, probably, where we will ultimately end up ๐Ÿ˜… I'm ashamed to say that it has been so long since I last visited that it took me a while to locate the plot where my mum and dad are. The whole site has been opened up and extended so much that it all looked completely different but I found their stone in the end.  When we can, we intend to go back and take a plant or something so that it doesn't look neglected. Even if I could get hold of some flowers they wouldn't last 5 minutes in the bitter cold.  

As you can see from the photo above, our allotment is totally bare.  This shot gives a better idea of how much ground we have to cultivate.  The area covered by polythene sheeting nearest the camera will be the potato bed, the next prepared bed will contain fruit bushes (G has put in 6 raspberry canes and a blackberry)  The apple trees need pruning but we hope to do it in slightly warmer weather.

I have also taken up my knitting needles again.  I used to knit quite a lot of baby stuff for charity but, with the shops all being closed, it seems a bit pointless so I'm knitting myself some fingerless mittens.  I quite fancy knitting a long cardigan but can't get the yarn I like as it's out of stock.  I think the whole country must be knitting! Nay....perhaps the world!  

Are you a knitter?  What do you have on the go?

Before I go, a warm welcome to another new follower.  I'm sorry I can't tell who you are.  Blogger has removed the facility of hovering over the avatar to find the name.  Welcome anyway ๐Ÿ˜€

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35    £93.27

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Post on a SUNDAY??

 We woke up to a street and garden covered in a heavy frost once again and, boy, it's cold outside.  Around 9am we heard our security camera activate and it turned out to be the postman....wearing SHORTS!  He was particularly welcome because it was G's birthday yesterday and we have had no post for several days and so some of his cards were stuck in the system.  Amongst the pile of mail were 2 birthday cards containing lottery tickets and a scratch card.  No luck with them but it gave him a bit of a lift to check them anyway.  We know there is still one card out there somewhere but it proves we need to post things extra early for them to arrive on time.  Sunday post is unheard of here so the PO must be really busy and trying to play catch up.  Well done brave Postie!

I'm going to cook a hot lunch with veggie roast, roast potatoes, swede, carrots, peas and gravy.  I might even make some Yorkshire puddings if I have time. Tea will be pitta pizzas, I think.

My bed has been stripped and is in the washing machine, the bedroom windows are open a tiny bit to let in some fresh air and now I'm off to prepare the veg.  It seems strange to have G here on furlough again so I'm trying to ignore him and do my chores without interruption ๐Ÿ˜  It's not easy...why does he not hear when I ask him something yet knows when I creep downstairs to avoid him! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Oh, and a warm welcome to more new followers ๐Ÿ˜Š

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Friday, 8 January 2021

On Expensive Sticks and Food Budget!


I'm glad I made some of you smile with my comment about the expensive sticks ๐Ÿ˜€  Thank you all for your encouraging comments.  The photo above was taken in September 2020 and shows how our trees looked when we planted them.  That particular corner of the garden is very wet and boggy even after creating drainage by digging a hole and filling it with gravel so I really hope that they will survive until Spring buds them up again.

In an earlier post I explained that I really want to bring our spending on food back down to a reasonable level this year.  Another lockdown has kind of thrown a spanner in the works already.  Having to stay at home again means no YS bargains for the next few weeks at least although I made a good start with my Tuesday food delivery which came to £46.35  It would have been a little more but one of the items had fully open packaging so I refused it and had a refund.  In addition they had NO CABBAGE ๐Ÿ‘€

The next shop has been delayed until Thursday 14th so I'm ekeing out the food we already have by making soup.  Lunch today was HM vegetable soup with a couple of 'bake at home' crusty rolls.  I have bread in the freezer (as well as flour and yeast for the breadmaker) and longlife milk for when the fresh stuff runs out, so we can manage perfectly well until next Thursday.

We have :

Fish fingers
Eggs x 6
Quorn pieces for curry
Pasta bows
Filled tortelloni
Baked beans
2 x ready meals (one each)
Packet cooked ham for G

3 sweet Peppers
Frozen oven chips
Frozen chips
Frozen broad beans

Ice cream ๐Ÿ˜
12 x mince pies
Tinned fruit
Greek yogurt


If I plan carefully, we will be fine.  I really don't want to visit the supermarket.  In our area there are 672 Covid cases per 100,000.  Far too many for comfort.  We should be the 4th group in line for the vaccine and might get it by the middle of Feb.  I'll let you know how we get on.

Welcome to my new follower!  I'm so sorry but I can't tell who you are.  I do hope I haven't bored you rigid already with this diary post!

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35 

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

There IS Hope.....

 When I woke up this morning it had begun to snow again and the temperature was barely above freezing. 

We are once again under national lockdown. It won't change much about our day to day life because, having been in tier 4 anyway, our lives have been severely restricted for some time.  G took a call from his manager at 'You Can Do It' this morning, asking if he wants to be furloughed again due to his age.  He reluctantly agreed (he will miss the activity of working in the garden dept as well as talking to colleagues) but requested that he be able to return to work once he has received the vaccine.  He will be 71 this Saturday so might get the jab before the end of February if things go to plan.  I like the freedom of weekends to myself but really don't want to risk him picking up the new strain of Covid.  He has been very lucky up to now.  Two of his colleagues have had the virus.  The first person was in March/April during the first lockdown.  He spent 3 weeks on a ventilator and has since suffered extreme fatigue and depression.  The second, a young student aged 21, picked it up in the week before Christmas.  He has had milder symptoms in that he didn't go to hospital but felt very ill and is still off work.  He too is suffering fatigue and very, very down.  

3 family members (who I never see in the flesh) have also had it, one aged just 23.  This virus is very real.  It makes me so angry when I see and hear people dismissing it as a hoax.  

A big thank you to the people who commented on my last post.  I find it so very sad that people worldwide are having to battle with not seeing their families as well as having to cope with health issues and day to day pressure of daily life. But we can all plan for the future.  It seems that, after hugging family members, travel is the second thing most longed for.  I echo that.....

Stick with it my friends, we are on the last lap and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

To end on a lighter note:  did you notice the two trees in the photo of our garden?  No?
I'm not surprised because they just look like (expensive) sticks at the moment, especially my lovely Rowan tree ๐Ÿ˜…
Roll on Spring....

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Happy Times Remembered

 At the end of the year it's so tempting to look back with nostalgia at what has been left behind.  Like many bloggers do to welcome in the new year I tidy up, clear out and refresh, including the computer.  This morning whilst deleting unwanted photographs I found this photo of our park home which we had to leave in December 2019.  We got the keys in December 2009 and moved our belongings in during one of the worst Winters we had experienced in years.  After the initial snagging (including leaking water pipes and a leaky sewage pipe!) had been completed, we found it warm and cosy and fully expected to spend our retirement in the country........

It wasn't to be....After G developed health problems, the stress of trying to juggle healthcare appointments with February shutdown of the park proved too much and we had to leave and buy our little semi on the edge of town.  If only we could go back to 2009 and experience those years again before all the health issues surfaced I would be very happy. 

I doubt if any of us will miss 2020 so lets look forward to whatever good things 2021 will bring.  We are en route to Spring so get planning folks!  We can't wait to get back to the allotment and we hope to be able to plan something good for our Golden  Wedding Anniversary in October, even if it's only a meal in a restaurant.

What would you like to do in 2021?